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William Maley

Industry News: Demand For EVs As Rentals Are Dropping

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

October 16, 2013

Range Anxiety. A condition that still plagues electric vehicles. But it isn't limited to prospective customers who are worried about not having enough juice, it has now spread to rental customers. A number of rental car agencies have now started offering electric vehicles. This allows consumers to try an EV. But renters are returning the EVs much sooner and exchanging them for gas vehicle.

“People are very keen to try it, but they will switch out of the contract part way through. Range anxiety makes them think they can’t get to a charging station,” said Lee Broughton, head of sustainability at Enterprise.

Enterprise data shows that on average, renters trade EVs in 1.6 days into the rental period compared to the 6 to 7 days of a standard gas vehicle.

Christopher Agnew, an analyst at MKM Holdings LLC says that a longer range would help renter's range anxiety, especially in places where they don't where they're going.

Now you can rent a Tesla Model S if you go to certain place, but expect to pay a pretty penny. MPG Car Rental based out of Venice, CA rents a Model S for $500 per day. To put that in perspective, a Prius Plug-In costs $99 per day.

Despite these setbacks, rental car companies say they will keep buying EVs for their fleets.

Source: Bloomberg

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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Interesting...I don't think I've noticed an EV on rental car lots..will have to see if my local Enterprise has any hybrids or EVs on the lot when I'm there Friday; I've reserved a CTS (or equivalent as they say) for my little weekend road trip to Fontana.

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I haven't talked you out of Enterprise yet?! Go with National starting in 2014, you'll love the Emerald Executive Elite status I'm sure you'll qualify for.

I've had a regular Prius through them before.

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I haven't talked you out of Enterprise yet?! Go with National starting in 2014, you'll love the Emerald Executive Elite status I'm sure you'll qualify for.

I've had a regular Prius through them before.

Enterprise is a 1/2 mile from my house, without having to go to the airport and pay the extra airport fees. I still use Alamo when I fly in somewhere, will give National a try on my next such trip..

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The difference National really kicks in when you hit elite status.... that's when you rent a "Corolla or similar" and end up in a 300c.

If you have a National number, you can use it at Enterprise to earn National status. So if nothing else get the Emerald Club and then credit your Enterprise rentals to National.

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Lovely how electric car proponents in this thread are talking about everything except the posted topic of the thread. :roflmao:

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Lovely how electric car proponents in this thread are talking about everything except the posted topic of the thread. :roflmao:

Because it's bizarre that electric cars are actually an option for rental agencies. Plus, they're charging major premiums for their use. Electric's don't fit in the business model for rental car companies.

That's not an electric car issue.

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The point of the article, in case you hadn't noticed is... people are returning electric rentals and exchanging them for something useful for the duration of the time they need a rental. Because they don't want to be stranded. Hello.

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I wouldn't rent an EV..they wouldn't be appropriate for my use cases.

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The point of the article, in case you hadn't noticed is... people are returning electric rentals and exchanging them for something useful for the duration of the time they need a rental. Because they don't want to be stranded. Hello.

People are returning electric's because rental's are typically used for long-distance travel or for business trips. Neither situation is good for an electric vehicle and those are the two primary reasons of why rental vehicle agencies exist.

That's why it's bizarre electric vehicles are even are offered by these agencies. It's not that electric's are bad. It's that electrics don't meet the needs of a typical rental car consumer.

Electrics = good.

Bad businesses decisions = bad.

Edited by FAPTurbo

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I didn't know it was even an option yet.

They only have them at certain places. I know California is a hot spot.

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Not available here in Green Washington. I called after seeing this to see and found no one at Enterprise, National or Alamo has them.

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They are renting them for the fantasy. Returning them early in the contract time for the reality. There are an infinite number of reasons why someone would rent a car in the first place. For example in my line of work, the majority of people don't drive the rental far at all, while their car is in the shop for body repair. A big percentage of Enterprise's business comes from bodyshops.

Edited by ocnblu

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The point of the article, in case you hadn't noticed is... people are returning electric rentals and exchanging them for something useful for the duration of the time they need a rental. Because they don't want to be stranded. Hello.

I'd rent an EV for certain trips, but I didn't even know it was an option and not at $500 a day.

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I'd rent an EV for certain trips, but I didn't even know it was an option and not at $500 a day.

I assume other EVs such as the Nissan Leaf would be cheaper than the Model S rate I listed in the story.

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Looking at National's website, the only EV I can seem to find is up in a non-Airport location in Massachusetts, but their website doesn't really make it easy to find specific cars like that.

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